Library Lion with Character Traits

This week the students have been reading Library Lion.  Library Lion is one of the stories from our Rooted in Reading March!  {Side-note... you can totally move the books around to match the Scope and Sequence of your district!}  Back on track---> Today we focused on identifying Character Traits.  We really focused on inner character traits.  So often they are quick to identify how a character looks, but the book takes us so much deeper.  I showed them these posters...
Which helped us to see that characters look a certain way, but they also feel, act, speak, and think!  So, we talked about examples of different types of character traits!

We did this little chant to help us remember!
You can grab the posters HERE for free :)
 We also made these little bracelets (pipe cleaners and beads) to remind us how to identify character traits.  I chose the beads that matched the color of the posters.  We talked about how the black pipe cleaner was like our story.  The white beads stood for the beginning and the end of the story.

Yellow:  How the Character Feels
Blue:  How the Character Acts
Orange:  What the Character Says
Pink:  How the Character Thinks
Green:  How the Character Looks.  

We made our bracelets and practiced our chant several times!
Afterwards, we folded a yellow piece of paper accordion style.  Students wrote character traits that described the lion in Library Lion on each section.
 After identifying the Lion's character traits, we complete a directed drawing of a lion.  I used a tutorial you can find HERE by Art Projects for Kids.
 The students were so excited to use Oil Pastels.  They just give such a detailed and strong look to art!  You can find the oil pastels that I use HERE.  I just have four sets the students share.  Since we don't use them very often they last for a long time!
 The finished products were just adorable!  Look how cute the lions turned out!
 I just love some kid art!!!
So, here is our lesson in a jiffy.... Review Character Traits with posters, make bracelet, learn chant, and describe/draw the lion!  It was quick but had a BIG impact!
Oh, and tell your third grade friends....

Rooted in Reading is coming for them!  We will be releasing our 3rd grade book list VERY SOON!  The first month of RiR (August) will be available in May!

Munching on Multiplication

Multiplication is one of my VERY favorite math units.  I feel like I say that about everything other than regrouping, ha!  Pretty much as long as I'm not teaching regrouping I'm in heaven!  I wanted to share a couple of new multiplication activities with you!

I realize that not everyone can have fun with food in the classroom.  I'm sorry about that!  For this activity you will need Oreos and M&Ms!  The Oreos will serve as your groups.  The M&Ms will be your objects in each group.
Since I was introducing multiplication, I gave everyone the same amount of Oreos.  I didn't want the confusion to begin on day one!  Then I gave students a small cup of M&Ms.  They decided how many to place on each Oreo.  Oh, and we just peeled the other piece of the Oreo off and threw it away.  The M&Ms don't stick to the Oreo icing, but it does make a nice little platter :)
Before students could eat their math treat they had to write down ____ groups of ____, a repeated addition equation, and a multiplication equation.  I walked through this step by step and kept it very basic since we are so early on in the unit.  The students were SO excited to get such a special treat during math!
I'm going a little out of order here, but the next activity is actually how I introduced the concept of multiplication to the class.  I did this right before students built their tasty treat.  So, first we fed the bunnies, then we fed ourselves!
We sat in a large circle so that we could build multiplication situations together.  I had students help me during each step of the process.  First, a student rolled a di.  This number told them how many rabbits (or equal groups) we needed to put out.  Another student rolled a different di.  This number told them how many carrots to feed each rabbit.  We talked about equal groups and repeated addition.  Another student then helped us write our repeated addition equation.  I laminated everything so that we could quickly clean off and play several times!
There is a recording sheet that students can use.  We just worked together, so we didn't use pencil and paper today!
 We continued creating new multiplication situations.  The students took turns completing each step of our little process!
Once they were ready, I also introduced the multiplication equation to match our model.
You can grab this multiplication FREEBIE here!
Looking for more engaging activities for Multiplication?  Check out some of what is in Magic of Math Unit 9 for 2nd grade!

They also learn how to create arrays to solve multiplication problems.
They will wrap up week two with Array Task Stations.  Students will use objects you have around the room to create arrays.
This unit also includes introducing division.  We've got so many fun activities for your students!

 It just doesn't get much more fun than that!  All of those activities can be found HERE.

FREEBIE: Reading Strategy Posters

As students are getting ready to head off to 3rd grade it is really important that they begin taking their time and really concentrating while reading those passages or texts with questions.  So many times they just rush through to get done, leaving them with little understanding and a poor grade.  Often times they just need the tools to make it through those assignments.  I made these reading strategy posters for a reading lesson today, so I just had to share.  The students already knew their strategies really well, but they needed a quick reminder.  These did just the trick!  Pair them with googly eye rings (found at Target, Dollar Tree, or even Amazon!) and it's even better!
 Click HERE to grab this freebie up!  Hope you enjoy!

Off to the Races! A Graphing Activity

A couple of years ago I got stuck in a rut when it came to our graphing unit in 2nd grade.  I mean, how much could one do with creating and analyzing graphs?!  I wish I knew then what I know now... that graphing can really be so much fun!  AND the students are capable of doing a lot when it comes to interpreting.  Often times we limit them with the way we present a skill or how we question.  What I've learned is that graphing really encompasses a lot of those skills we've been working on all year.  We add, subtract, compare, order, and so much more when we graph.  We can make predictions and draw conclusions.  We can notice patterns and trends.  Seriously, so much to learn!

This week the students are working on creating pictographs.  Today we were Off to the Races!  Here's what we did:

First, I told students that they had to make a prediction.  Which car would win the race?  They chose a color and made a quick headband to represent their predictions.  I simply used clipart from Teaching in the Tongass to create the hats.
 Based on our predictions, we made a class graph.  The students had to determine how we would collect and gather the data.  They decided to get into groups based on color.  Then we made a human bar graph.  We lined up and organized ourselves.  Afterwards we discussed what we could learn from the graph that we made!  This all took very little time- maybe 10-15 minutes tops with the hat making.
 The students then broke into partner groups to see which car was going to win the race.  Each group was given a set of data (a collection of colored cars- on cards).  I gave each group a blue, red, orange, and green hot wheel car to race throughout their data collecting.  As they drew a colored card, they moved the matching car forward along their racetrack (a gray sheet of paper because #lazy).
The actual car part of this was all extra.  Israel has a gajillion cars, so I just robbed his toy chest before school!  The kids really did enjoy moving them along the racetrack though!
 Here you can see the students drawing a card and moving that car forward.
 They soon found out that blue was the winner because it had the greatest number of cards in their stack.  After completing their race they had to organize their cards into a pictograph.
 It was actually pretty neat because when we made our predictions (and they hadn't seen any data or have a clue yet), the majority of students chose blue and no one chose orange.  Blue happened to be our winner and orange was in last place... just like our predictions!
Students turned their pictograph into a bar graph.

 After making our pictographs and bar graphs students had to write six statements about their data.  I didn't snap a picture, but they did great with their interpretations.  They were putting all of those minilessons and conversations they've had over the past two weeks into practice.  All of that modeling paid off big time!
You can find this activity and more by clicking on the image below:
Last week I told you about our new freebie for graphing.  I wanted to show you a picture of all it includes!  Students can make a bar graph, pictograph, or line plot after playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.  There is also a set of questions for students to answer once they have gathered all of their data. 
 Third Grade teachers, we haven't left you out!  We've got lots of fun graphing activities for you also!  Click HERE for our collection of bar graph, pictograph, line plot, and frequency table resources and activities!
Have a happy weekend!!

STRIKE Zone! {And a Graphing Freebie}

This week has been all about graphing!  Our district always puts graphing in the last quarter... so you know when this standard rolls around the end is very near!!

This week students have been working with bar graphs.  There are soooooo many fun ways to collect data and information.... like bowling!

I searched everywhere for those cheap bowling sets, but all of my stores were out.  I was going to use cups and a ball like we suggest in our unit, but I looked for bowling sets anyways.  I've been meaning to pick some up and just never have!  Well, I went to Wal-Mart and they had these little goodies in the Easter section.  I just knew I had to have them for this activity!  And, of course one needs a bunny mask when bowling for carrots!
Students got into bunny teams of three.  They took turns bowling and tallying up the knocked down pins.
These little sets were actually perfect because they were small!
And aren't they just the cutest?!  Who knew one needed a carrot bowling game in their life?  #notme #butnowIknow
  After students finished playing and tallying they took their data back to their seats so they could create their bar graph.
 Partners had to meet back up so that they could answer questions about their Strike Zone graphs!
We have so many interactive, engaging, and hands-on activities like this in our 2nd Grade Data and Graphing unit.  Check out a few of the others:
 Unit 8 includes bar graphs, pictographs, line plots (with measurement), and word problems.
We also include a graphing project where students choose their topic, collect data, organize information, create graphs, and generate questions about their data.  It's a great way to wrap up your graphing unit!
And we've made a super simple (like ZERO prep)... but VERY fun graphing freebie for you!  Do you ever see your kiddos playing Rock, Paper, Scissors around the school?  Well now you can give them a reason to play!  This freebie includes a bar graph, pictograph, and line plot option.  It also has follow-up questions so that students can analyze the data they collect!  You can grab that HERE!
Oh, and click HERE for a post from last year that includes another graphing freebie